Re: Hooks

Janet Gillis (jgillis@NOVA.UMD.EDU)
Thu, 13 Oct 1994 16:56:32 -0400

On Thu, 13 Oct 1994, William N Woo wrote:

> Thus the "Hook" is this- Advertisers try to appeal to human wants
> (or perception of wants), who better to relate than an Anthropologist.
> As with all hooks this may be short, simplistic, and problematic.
> Now are Anthropologists more plugged in to what people want then
> a Psychologist or a Theologian. After all ads appeal also to "spiritual
> issues. They try to sell us things that will feel some void in our
> lives, by buying such and such you will feel happy.
> I am reminded of the coke ad, "I want to teach, the world to sing
> in perfect harmony...I want to buy the world a coke, and keep it
> company."

Mr. Woo's statement makes sense, and I'm sure many anthropologists would
like to be able to pay their mortgage, as well as put some of those long
years of school to use.

But is there a "line" that shouldn't be crossed? Here's my story:

I used to work for a large retail organization in Atlanta, and the
brass were planning Santa's big arrival. Those assembled struggled to
find a "hook" (that's a quote!), and finally decided to have a local
charity tied in with Santa's entrance. I will never forget hearing
one of the store owners say, "make sure you get close-ups of the
crippled kids. It makes really good press." And they did.

A minor incident, perhaps, and this guy was not an anthropologist; he
just wanted to "sell". But isn't that what is being discussed here? I'm
not preaching, as everyone's morals are their own business. But just
because the technology/research/etc. is available, should it be used?